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NSA Open Sources Its Hacking Tool

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You probably have some idea about hacking tools that the National Security Agency (NSA) develops in-house for both offense and defense. But how would you react to this? At the RSA security conference Wednesday in San Francisco, the agency chose to release a free software reverse-engineering tool as a “contribution to the nation’s cybersecurity community”.

The tool called Ghidra was being used by the NSA internally for well over a decade. Perfect for software engineers, the tool is coded in Java and features a graphical user interface. Ghidra is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

In line with NSA’s Cybersecurity mission, Ghidra was built to solve scaling and teaming problems on complex SRE efforts, and to provide a customizable and extensible SRE research platform.
“We’re not claiming that this (Ghidra) is the one that’s going to be replacing everything out there—it’s not. But it helped us address some things in our workflow,” Wired quoted NSA cybersecurity adviser Rob Joyce as saying.

NSA said it has applied Ghidra SRE capabilities to a variety of problems that involve analyzing malicious code and generating deep insights for SRE analysts who seek a better understanding of potential vulnerabilities in networks and systems.

You can currently download Ghidra but only from the official site. In the near future though, NSA will release Ghidra’s source code on GitHub under an open source license.

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